Institution Building for African Regionalism
Khadiagala, Gilbert M. | August 2011
Since the 1960s, African states have embraced regional integration as a vital mechanism for political cooperation and for pooling resources to overcome problems of small and fragmented economies. In building meaningful institutions for regionalism, however, Africans have faced the challenges of reconciling the diversities of culture, geography, and politics. As a result, African regional institutions are characterized by multiple and competing mandates and weak institutionalization. This study illustrates these themes by comparing two continental institutions—the African Union and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and subregional institutions—the Economic Commission of Central African States, the Economic Community of West African States, the Common Market for East and Southern African States, the Community of the Sahel-Saharan States, and the Arab Maghreb Union. By focusing on the institutional structures, mandates, and contributions of these organizations in their geographical domains, the study probes the links between policy articulation and outcomes. The conclusion focuses on lessons that African regionalism can inform Asian integration experiences.
CitationKhadiagala, Gilbert M.. 2011. Institution Building for African Regionalism. © Asian Development Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/2012. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Regional Economic Development
Asian Development Bank
Regional Economic Integration
Economies in transition
Gross domestic product
Economic development projects
Success in business
Communication in economic development
Restraint of trade
International economic integration
East-West tradeShow allCollapse
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